S U N DAY , M AY 23 , 2 010
The bottom line: There’s no quick
fix. It takes weeks of hard work,
sacrifice and deprivation.
Jeannine Stein
Kourtney Kardashian makes gearing up
for bikini season look so darned fun and easy.
In a recent issue of Life & Style magazine, she
explains that she drinks a lot of water, works
out with 2-pound dumbbells (while wearing a
fun leopard-print T-shirt) and has dropped
her chai lattes in favor of espresso shots to
save calories.
If you believe the glossy magazines that insist this is what it truly takes to drop 10 to 20
pounds and deflate your muffin top in time
for summer, we’ve got a timeshare on the Gulf
of Mexico we’d like to sell you.
The reality? Brace yourselves for several
weeks of sacrifice and deprivation, beginning
with working out six days a week, twice a day
— yes, twice — in a demanding routine of cardio and strength training. Add to that a strict
diet regimen that leaves little room for cupcakes and Twizzlers. And those two postwork glasses of wine? Don’t even think about
“Some people have an unrealistic expectation of what getting into shape for summer really entails,” says Fred Engelfried, a trainer at
the Sports Club/LA. “They think that working out three days a week is going to make
that happen. The truth of the matter is that to
take off 2 pounds per week, people need to be
consistent across the board.”
Diet is where most people get derailed, despite their best efforts, says Kara Mohr, an exercise physiologist and co-owner of a nutrition and fitness facility in Louisville, Ky. “People will say they’re doing everything they can,
but it’s always the little nibbles here and there
that get them, since they don’t realize how
much those things add up.”
Let’s do the math: Mohr recommends eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. That innocent
little blueberry muffin you had for breakfast
has about 400 calories, or one-third to onefourth of your total daily calories. It’s also
guaranteed to provide a nasty blood sugar
crash later on, prompting a binge on more
empty calories. Ergo, if you eat more foods
with bulk and vitamins (i.e. fruit and oatmeal), you won’t be starving or nutritionally
Most dietitians and nutrition experts suggest planning meals that include copious
fruit and vegetables (without added sugar or
butter), lean proteins (which provide a feeling
of satiety) such as fish and chicken, low-fat or
nonfat dairy, and healthful fats such as avocados and nuts. Whole grains are better than refined, but watch portions — bread, pasta and
Kirk McKoy Los Angeles Times
COUNTDOWN TO SUMMER: Fashion and fitness magazines tout their own formulas for getting into swimsuit shape.
cereals can quickly bump up calories.
Mohr advises weighing and measuring
food cooked at home to make sure serving
sizes don’t slowly creep up. A typical serving
of protein should be about 2 to 3 ounces, or
the size of a deck of cards — not the size of a
shoe, which is what most restaurants provide.
Keeping a food diary is another smart way
to spot trouble zones, such as mindless
snacking while watching TV. This can be done
easily with phone apps that track calories.
Eating small meals every three to four
hours keeps blood glucose levels elevated so
the body burns fat — not muscle — for energy,
says Engelfried. Snacking on complex carbs
and protein before exercising will keep the
metabolism high and provide enough energy
to get through a workout.
But it’s going to take a will of steel to refuse
the goodies that tempt us daily. Scheduling
one splurge day per week is allowed, but don’t
go overboard: Have a reasonable amount of
whatever you’re craving, get it out of your system, then get right back on track.
The exercise part of this process is just as
rigorous. Plan to work out six days a week,
and break those up into two daily sessions, if
possible, 30 minutes to one hour maximum
“By doing that, your heart rate will stay
more elevated and you’ll burn more calories
throughout the day,” says Mike Donavanik, a
Beverly Hills-based trainer.
Trainers recommend doing both cardio
(five to six days a week) and strength training
(two to four days a week). If exercise hasn’t
been in the picture for a while, start slowly
and build up — doing too much too soon increases the risk of injury and illness. Most cardio sessions should be done at moderate to
intense levels.
Incorporate interval training two to three
times a week, alternating between short
bouts of moderate- to high-intensity exercise
in the same workout. This not only supplies a
whopping calorie burn but also improves
the cardiovascular system. A heart rate monitor makes it easier to distinguish between
various workout zones, erasing any guesswork.
For strength training, doing a circuit of
functional exercises that targets numerous
muscles elevates the heart rate and produces
lean, toned muscles — the kind most women
want to show off on the beach. Engelfried suggests starting with a 10-minute cardio warmup, then doing a series of several minute-long
multi-function exercises.
That might be combining a forward lunge
with a bicep curl (using dumbbells), then
coming up to a standing position and doing
an overhead press. The core is always engaged, and several muscles are firing to com-
plete each exercise. Changing up routines
staves off boredom and exercise ruts, shocking the body so it can build new muscle tissue.
As for how much weight to lift, go with what’s
challenging but not so difficult you can’t complete a set. Donavanik likes to break up his
routines into three to four mini-circuits, or
nine to 12 exercises.
Taking a rest day and getting enough sleep
are crucial for letting muscles repair.
“This is when we recover, like charging the
batteries to our cellphones,” says Adam
Friedman, a trainer at Gold’s Gym in Venice.
Even the most committed types can find
their motivation flagging after a few weeks.
Being beholden to a trainer — even once a
week — can keep enthusiasm high. So can
joining a five-day-a-week boot camp, where
the emphasis is on constant movement and
where friendly competition keeps the energy
and drive up.
Despite the amount of work packed into a
short timeline, the countdown to summer
shouldn’t all be drudgery. Engelfried advocates mixing up solo workouts with group
“It’s great to have a class to look forward to
after work, like yoga or dancing,” he says.
“We’re all doing this to look great but also to
live your life more fully.”
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Street Scene: The
hottest ocean views
Go online to see what real people
like these are wearing in SoCal.
Ellen Olivier
Cellphones barely get signals in parts of
Los Angeles, yet it seemed appropriate that
Edward James Olmos, formerly Adm. William Adama of “Battlestar Galactica,” spent
the cocktail hour at the Griffith Observatory’s 75th birthday party sending text-messages into space. Olmos had been contacting
a friend, Atlantis astronaut Garrett Reisman, and periodically checking his BlackBerry for a response.
More than 400 Friends of the Observatory came to the May 15 gala, highlighted by
the premiere of “Light of the Valkyries.” Like
Richard Wagner’s epic four-opera “Ring” cycle, which is about to begin at the L.A. Opera,
the new planetarium show is based on ancient Nordic myths and is part of Ring Festival LA.
“The observatory is truly a gift,” said Olmos. “It is one of the most beautiful experiences you can give to children.”
John Cho, Sulu in the 2009 “Star Trek”
film, said he comes often. “I feel a connection
because of the movie but more so because of
‘Rebel Without a Cause.’ ” The 1955 James
Dean classic was filmed on the site.
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Rep.
Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), L.A. City
Councilman Tom LaBonge, observatory director Ed Krupp and Friends of the Observatory executive director Camille Lombardo
joined in the festivities. And, in keeping with
“Ring” traditions, two guests, David Gallup
and Peter Adams, turned up in Viking helmets.
Proceeds were earmarked for field trips
to the observatory for L.A. schoolchildren.
And before dinner ended, Olmos got his answer from space. “Hello, Admiral,” Reisman’s message read. “Life is great up here.”
Photographs by Mathew Imaging
OBSERVED: As a red
carpet stretched
across the grounds,
the glitterati celebrating the observatory’s 75th year included Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa, with
observatory donor
Lynda Oschin, left,
and actor John Cho,
who played Sulu in the
2009 “Star Trek” film.
Western civilization
Instead of staging the standard black-tie
gala in a hotel ballroom, co-chairs Jenny
Jones and Carolyn Powers presented “Music
Center Walks on the Wild Side,” at
Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Santa Susana.
Massive boulders blanketed the landscape. Cactus plants dotted the hills. Dancers performed inside bubbles on a pond, and
horses executed precision dressage movements against a backdrop of Argentine music.
For the May 16 event, the invitation read
“Estancia Festive,” interpreted by the 300plus guests as ranch-style fashions with a
Spanish flavor, which meant there were gaucho hats, suede skirts, silk flowers, turquoise
jewelry and several beaded jackets in evidence. Joan Hotchkis described her fashionforward western boots as “Annie Oakley
goes to Neiman Marcus.”
The night raised funds for the Music Cen-
Photographs by
CHIC: Local Amanda Zaffiro
in Wildfox Couture, Moschino.
Alex Berliner Berliner Photography
ON THE WILD SIDE: The Music Center event honored Carla and Fred
Sands, left, and Warren and Alyce Williamson. The gala, titled “Estancia Festive,” was chaired by, above right, Carolyn Powers, left, and Jenny Jones.
ter’s education programs, and board chairman John Emerson called the center “the
single largest provider of arts education in
Southern California, reaching 250,000 children annually.” The Music Center includes
the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Walt
Disney Concert Hall.
The evening honored Carla and Fred
Sands, Eva and Marc Stern, and Alyce and
Warren “Spud” Williamson for their leadership and generosity in support of the arts.
Enjoying the evening were Carolyn and
Bill Powers, Jenny Jones with Mark Winter,
Joan and John Hotchkis, Andrea and John
Van de Kamp, Joy and Jerome Fein, Susan
and Michael Niven, Marna and Rockwell
Schnabel, Nancy Harahan and Joyce Rey.
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More from the Scene
Go online for more photos from this week’s
Scene & Heard events, plus coverage of
previous parties.
Photographs by
Colin Young Wolff
For The Times
VISIT: Jessica Lopez-Blanco
from Argentina in white, blue.